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On Ethical Adoptions

There is a
popular blog whose Christian author recently posted about ethics in
adoption. The author is an adoptive parent who adopted
internationally. I will not name the blog or author, but it was
impressive to see how wide-ranging her impact was – our agency was inundated
with emails shortly after this blog was posted. There is something to
rejoice in here: It’s a truly wonderful thing to know that so many
families are concerned about the ethics of international adoption. The
blog didn’t mention our agency or address us, but since so many families wrote
to us following the blog post we thought it would be helpful to respond. 

First, there are
a lot of things this blog post got right. The author was absolutely right
in noting that adoption processes should not be about adoptive parents’ rights
to a child.  She is absolutely right to grieve over the abuses,
coercions and broken families that have resulted from fraud, lies and
corruption. And she is absolutely right to say that adoption should not
be motivated by a desire to provide children with a wealthier family. Although there are points on this blog post that we certainly didn’t agree with
and wouldn’t endorse, on these issues she is right, and ought to be

At America World
Adoption, we don’t believe our agency, our staff or the adoption systems we
work in are perfect. We’re not naïve enough to believe that there are not
children and families who have been very hurt by fraud, abuses or
corruption. We know this has happened to some families and we grieve with
you. If there are cases of adoption abuses, our agency stands with other
adoption professionals asking for the abuses to be prosecuted. But we
don’t want to paint a picture of international adoption as a system that is
primarily composed of fraudulent cases. We don’t believe that. We
also believe that most of the adoptive families we work with care first and
foremost about children. We believe they deeply and compassionately care
about those children’s birth families. We also believe that children
living in orphanages should have an opportunity to grow up with parents: if birth parent reunification isn’t possible, kinship placements should be
sought; if this isn’t possible, domestic adoption should be considered; when
this isn’t a possibility, international adoption can be a great, appropriate
and God-ordained way of ensuring that children grow up with families. Finally, we want to say, loud and clear, that we unapologetically don’t believe
international adoption is a “last resortâ€.  Abusive families,
orphanages, foster care, group homes, or growing up as a street child are worse
options for a child.

The topic of
corruption and fraud in international adoption truly is helpful and hopefully
will result in more informed and prepared parents. We hope and pray that
this “trendy topic†leads to true changes and doesn’t result in fewer children
growing up with parents. It’s possible to continue to improve our
imperfect systems and continue to serve children and families at the same
time. That’s our commitment and we hope if you have feedback on this
subject for how we can do this better that you’ll share it with us.

-Brian Luwis, founder and CEO

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